Copyright © January 3, 2012
Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Introduction to the Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State” [To be added when time permits]
This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See EN29 for more on this matter. This article is an edited version of Section III, Chapter 1 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”). See EN30 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.”
Introduction to the biblical doctrine of “Separation of Church and State”
Historically, Christians, as warned by Jesus and the apostles, have been persecuted. Christians were persecuted from the beginning of the church. After union of church and state in the fourth century, the established “church,” in conjunction with the state, persecuted Christians.
Jesus preached to the multitudes concerning persecution of His followers: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Mt. 5.10-12).
Jesus warned the disciples that His followers would be persecuted: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (Jn. 15.18-21). [Emphasis mine.]
At first the persecution of Christians was by the Jewish religious leaders. Paul (then called Saul) was present at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Ac. 8.1). Paul, before salvation, was actively involved in persecution: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Ac. 8.3). After Paul’s salvation, he was persecuted and finally beheaded. He was seized by the Jews during his last visit to Jerusalem. They would have killed him, but as they were beating him, the chief captain of the Romans took soldiers and centurions, intervened, and held him. At that time Paul was allowed to speak to the people. He said, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” (Ac. 22.3-4).
Following the crucifixion of the Savior “in rapid succession fell many other martyred heroes [in addition to Stephen and Paul, already mentioned]: … Matthew was slain in Ethiopia, Mark dragged through the streets until dead, Luke hanged, Peter and Simeon were crucified, Andrew tied to a cross, James beheaded, Philip crucified and stoned, Bartholomew flayed alive, Thomas pierced with lances, James, the less, thrown from the temple and beaten to death, Jude shot to death with arrows, Matthias stoned to death…” EN1.
Rome persecuted Christians off and on until the early fourth century. The persecution varied in extent and duration with various emperors. EN2. Then, some “churches” were recognized by the state and formed a union with the state and became the official state “church.” “[U]nder the leadership of Emperor Constantine there [came] a truce, a courtship and proposal of marriage. The Roman Empire through its emperor [sought] a marriage with Christianity. Give us your spiritual power and we will give you of our temporal power…. In A.D. 313, a call was made for a coming together of the Christian churches or their representatives. Many but not all came. The alliance was consummated. A Hierarchy was formed. In the organization of the Hierarchy, Christ was dethroned as head of the churches and Emperor Constantine enthroned (only temporarily, however) as head of the church. [This was the beginning of what became the Catholic church.] Let it be definitely remembered that when Constantine made his call for the council, there were very many of the Christians … and of the churches, which declined to respond. They wanted no marriage with the state, and no centralized religious government, and no higher ecclesiastical government of any kind, than the individual church.” EN3.
Before the union of church and state, both Judaism and Paganism had persecuted Christians. After the union, “Christians” began to persecute Christians. “Thus [began] the days and years and even centuries of a hard and bitter persecution against all those Christians who were loyal to the original Christ and Apostolic teachings.” EN4. Some leaders of that new state “church” who had supported liberty, “forgot what they had preached in their youth” and supported persecution of dissenters. The most significant of these was St. Augustine. “Augustine made much use of the passage in Luke 14.23: ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’ His position on religious liberty has been summarized in the maxim commonly (though erroneously) ascribed to him: ‘When error prevails, it is right to invoke liberty of conscience; but when, on the contrary, the truth predominates, it is just to use coercion.’ Augustine’s influence on the course of religious liberty and the relationship of church and state can hardly be measured. Fifteen hundred years have passed since his death, yet his teachings are still a potent factor in the position of the Catholic Church on the subject of religion and government. As a result of his teaching, “The principle that religious unity ought to be imposed in one way or another dominates the whole of the Christian Middle Ages and finds a concise and rigorous sanction in civil as well as in ecclesiastical legislation. “Because of Augustine, more than any other person,“the Medieval church was intolerant, was the source and author of persecution, justified and defended the most violent measures which could be taken against those who differed from it.” EN5.
The Middle Ages reflected the thinking of “Augustine and Aquinas, who taught that salvation could be achieved through compulsion, and that oppression and persecution of heretics was not merely the right but the holy duty of the Church.” EN6. “Over 50,000,000 Christians died martyr deaths … during the period of the ‘dark ages’ alone—about twelve or thirteen centuries” EN7.
The Inquisition was instituted in 1215 A.D. at a Council called by Pope Innocent III. “[P]robably the most cruel and bloody thing ever brought upon any people in all the world’s history was what is known as the ‘Inquisition,’ and other similar courts, designed for trying what was called ‘heresy.’ The whole world is seemingly filled with books written in condemnation of that extreme cruelty, and yet it was originated and perpetuated by a people claiming to be led and directed by the Lord. For real barbarity there seems to be nothing, absolutely nothing in all history that will surpass it.” EN8.
The atrocities and heresies of the Catholic “church” eventually led to an effort to reform that “church” from within. Among the greatest of the reformers were Martin Luther, who started the Lutheran church (which became the state-church of Germany), and John Calvin, founder of the Presbyterian church (which became the state-church of Scotland). During this period of reformation, there always existed those who dissented from Catholic and Reformation theology. In early sixteenth century Germany, two currents flowed in opposite directions. One, fostered by the established church, was toward a state-church. The other, promoted by dissenters, was toward separation of church and state. When a Protestant church became an established church it continued the persecution practiced by the harlot church.
“Both the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches brought out of their Catholic Mother many of her evils, among them her idea of a State Church. They both soon became Established Churches. Both were soon in the persecuting business, falling little if any, short of their Catholic Mother.” EN9. (Ibid., p. 33).
Martin Luther wrote:
“It is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world. Nay, over even one land or company of people since the wicked always outnumber the good. A man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the Gospel would be like a shepherd who would place in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep together and let them freely mingle with one another and say, ‘Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful among yourselves. The fold is open, there is plenty of food, have no fear of dogs and clubs.’ The sheep forsooth would keep the peace and would allow themselves to be fed and governed in peace; but they would not live long nor would any beast keep from molesting another. For this reason, these two kingdoms must be sharply distinguished and both be permitted to remain. The one to produce piety, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither is sufficient to the world without the other.” EN10.
“When Luther was expecting excommunication and assassination, he pleaded that: “Princes are not to be obeyed when they command submission to superstitious error, but their aid is not to be invoked in support of the Word of God. “Heretics, he said, must be converted by the Scriptures, and not by fire. With passion he asserted:
“I say, then neither pope, nor bishop, nor any man whatever has the right of making one syllable binding on a Christian man, unless it be done with his own consent. Whatever is done otherwise is done in the spirit of tyranny…. I cry aloud on behalf of liberty and conscience, and I proclaim with confidence that no kind of law can with any justice be imposed on Christians, except so far as they themselves will; for we are free from all.” EN11.
Nonetheless, Luther later, when he had made an effective alliance with the secular power, advocated that the magistrate, who does not make the law of God, enforce the law of God. According to Luther:
- “The law is of God and from God. The State is the law-enforcing agency, administering a law of God that exists unchangeably from all eternity….
“The need for a state arises from the fact that all men do not hear the word of God in a spirit of obedience. The magistrate does not make the law, which is of God, but enforces it. His realm is temporal, and the proper ordering of it is his responsibility. Included in the proper ordering the maintenance of churches where the word of God is truly preached and the truly Christian life is taught by precept and example. In his realm, subject to the law of God, the Prince is supreme, nor has man the right to rebel against him. But if the Prince contravenes the law of God, man may be passively disobedient, in obedience to a higher and the only finally valid law.” EN12.
- “Heretics are not to be disputed with, but to be condemned unheard, and whilst they perish by fire, the faithful ought to pursue the evil to its source, and bathe their hands in the blood of the Catholic bishops, and of the Pope, who is the devil in disguise.” EN13. (Acton, pp. 102-103, quoted in Pfeffer, p. 21; see also, Verduin, Anatomy of a Hybrid, pp. 158-160, 163-168, 186-198; Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Erdsmans Pub. Co., 1964) and Thomas Armitage, The History of the Baptists, Volumes 1 and 2 (Springfield, Mo.: Baptist Bible College, 1977 Reprint). ().
Luther espoused that coercion by the state to achieve religious unity was justifiable. This was an expansion of Erastian philosophy—“the assumption of state superiority in ecclesiastical affairs and the use of religion to further state policy.” Erastianism … pervaded all Europe, with the exception of Calvin’s ecclesiocratic Geneva, after the Reformation. EN14. Erastianism achieved its greatest triumph in England. EN15. See Ibid., pp. 24-25 for a concise history of Erastianism in England.
Luther’s position resulted in persecution of dissenters such as Anabaptists who believed in believer’s baptism. Although there is no reason to believe that the Anabaptists were explicit believers in a separation of church and state and in religious tolerance, opposition to a state-church follows logically from the thinking behind adult baptism:
“Believer’s baptism [was] the key to religious thought of the Anabaptists. Infant baptism implies that a child may be admitted into the Church without his understanding or personal consent. Such a church must be a formal organization, with sponsored membership possible for those whose years permit neither faith nor understanding. Adult baptism implies a different concept of the Church. The anabaptized are the elect of a visible church which is essentially a religious community of the elect. But obviously such a church could in no sense be a State Church. The Prince could neither bring it into being, regulate it, nor enforce membership in it; indeed, any connection between the State and such a church could only be injurious to the Church. Adult baptism on the surface is remote from the concept of a separated Church and State, yet such separation is implicit in the rationale of Anabaptism. The call to such a church can never come from the palace of the Prince; it must come from the Kingdom of Heaven…” EN16. [Emphasis mine.]
John Calvin pointed out that “these two [church and state] … must always be examined separately; and while one is being considered, we must call away and turn aside the mind from thinking about the other.” He followed this approach in order to expound the “[d]ifferences between spiritual and civil government,” insisting that “we must keep in mind the distinction … so that we do not (as so commonly happens) unwisely mingle these two, which have a completely different nature.” EN17. “[Calvin] also wrote: ‘But whosoever knows how to distinguish between body and soul, between the present fleeting life and that future eternal life, will without difficulty know that Christ’s spiritual Kingdom of Christ and the civil government are things completely distinct.’” EN18.”
He taught that “the church does not assume to itself what belongs to the magistrate, nor can the magistrate execute that which is executed by the Church.” EN19.
However, when he established his ecclesiocracy (the author uses this term to denote a civil government in which the church and state work together to enforce spiritual and earthly laws unlike the theocracy in Israel in which God himself was directly over the state) in Geneva, absence from the sermon, and missing the partaking of the Sacrament were punished. “Criticism of the clergy was included in the crime of blasphemy and blasphemy was punishable by death” as was the contention that “it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death.” EN20. Government had “‘the duty of rightly establishing religion’ and had as its ‘appointed end’ to ‘cherish and protect the outward worship of God, to defend sound doctrine of piety and the position of the church.’” EN21. Calvin’s ecclesiocratic relationship of church and state was “based on ecclesiastical supremacy and the use of state machinery to further religious interests.” EN22.
During this same period the Church of England arose from a split or division in the Catholic ranks. Henry VIII, king of England, “threw off papal authority and made himself head of the Church of England” when the Pope refused to grant him a divorce from Catherine of Spain so that he could marry Anne Boelyn. Henry’s successor, Mary, reinstated Catholicism, but her successor, Elizabeth, re-established the Church of England.
“Thus, before the close of the Sixteenth Century, there were five established Churches—churches backed up by civil governments—the Roman and Greek Catholics [the Greek Catholics separated from the Roman Catholics in the ninth century] counted as two, then the Church of England; then the Lutheran, or Church of Germany, then the Church of Scotland now known as the Presbyterian. All of them were bitter in their hatred and persecution of the people called Ana-Baptists, Waldenses and all other non-established churches, churches which never in any way had been connected with the Catholics…. Many more thousands, including both women and children were constantly perishing every day in the yet unending persecutions. The great hope awakened and inspired by the reformation had proven to be a bloody delusion. Remnants now [found] an uncertain refuge in the friendly Alps and other hiding places over the world.” EN23.
Sometime in the early seventeenth century, the Congregational church began. That church repudiated preacher rule and returned “to the New Testament democratic idea” while retaining many other “Catholic made errors such as infant baptism, pouring or sprinkling for baptism, and later adopted and practiced to an extreme degree the church and state idea. And, after refugeeing to America, themselves, became very bitter persecutors.” EN24.
The persecution of dissenters moved to America along with colonization. Section IV will cover this topic.
The final persecution is planned for those who, prior to the rapture, remain ‘separate’ by denying the divinity of man—they are to be ‘driven’ from this planet.” This persecution is being planned by Maitreya, who claims that he is a Christ and is simply waiting for humanity to call him forth. Another New Age leader, Barbara Marx Hubbard, wrote that she was told
“that her ‘Christ’ specifically described this purposeful elimination process as ‘the selection process.’ Like Maitreya, she stated that the selection process will be the penalty for anyone who persists in the ‘self-centered’ belief that humanity is not divine and is ‘separate’ from God. By this definition, Bible-believing Christians—the ones who really are Bible believing—would be defined as among those who are ‘self-centered’ and ‘separate.’ In what would be a fulfillment of the prophecy that the Antichrist will ‘make war with the saints’ (Revelation 13:7), Hubbard’s ‘Christ’—sounding much like Maitreya—states that he will ‘make war’ on those who are ‘fearful’ and ‘self-centered.’” EN25.
Ms. Hubbard wrote: “At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.” EN26. Ibid., p. 163.
The struggle over separation of church and state moved from the old world to the new, and is probably the most important topic in the history of America. For the first time, God’s truth concerning government, church, and separation of church and state was destined to prevail, first in Rhode Island and then in the United States. Prior to this struggle and since the union of church and state in the fourth century, both Catholic and Protestant sacral doctrine which had seen church and state as a single entity had tried unsuccessfully to stamp out all “heretics” who had never deviated from the true biblical doctrine of “separation of church and state.”
This section will address the biblical principle of separation of church and state. Does a church love and honor the Lord Jesus Christ enough to seek God’s guidance from the Bible concerning the issue of separation of church and state and then to act according to the principles in the Word of God? “Christ loved the church and gave himself for it,” and God “gave [Christ] to be the head over all things to the church.” (See Ep. 5.25 and 1.22); many Christians do not have the knowledge of what this entails.
Even “Christians” who believe in a literal interpretation of Scripture incorrectly interpret certain scriptures out of context to justify union of church and state and perhaps submission of church to the state or state to church. Covenant Theologians, as will be specifically addressed in another article in this section entitled “Dispensational Theology versus Covenant Theology,” to be taken from Section III, Chapter 3 of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application, believe in union of church and state. EN27. For example, many incorrectly interpret the scripture wherein Christ explained that the state is under God when He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (See Lu. 20.19-26; also Mt. 22.15-22; and Mk. 12.13-17). Many believers, having been Americanized, interpret this statement out of context and on its face to mean that one is to obey every law of the civil government because God gave civil government authority over all matters, spiritual and earthly, except perhaps the matter of salvation. Correctly understanding this statement of Christ requires a thorough understanding of the context in which the statement was made as well as an understanding of the Old and New Testaments.
Romans 13 and I Peter 2.13 are other primary scriptures cited out of context to support unlimited submission to the state in all earthly matters, and in all spiritual matters, with the possible exception of preaching salvation. The true interpretation of Romans 13 and other related verses has already been addressed in the audio teaching “American Abuse of Romans 13.1-2 and Related Verses” which is posted on this website. Additional written articles will be added to this website teaching in the future.
To correctly understand “separation of church and state” a Christian must put aside America’s teaching concerning and understanding of the concept of civil government as the supreme power. Today’s American “Christians” have been indoctrinated by America’s public schools, institutions of higher learning, media, seminaries, Bible colleges, and many churches concerning the doctrines of the church, the state or civil government, God and state, and separation of church and state. Most American “Christians” are far more American than they are Christian. They choose America and America’s principles which are mostly satanic more often than they choose the doctrines of the Word of God. To a great degree, many traditional churches and “Christians” along with many heretical and apostate “Christians” in America have become Erastian in their belief and practice.
Several topics will be examined in this Section of articles dealing with the biblical principle of “Separation of Church and State”: (1) Dispensational Theology as opposed to Covenant Theology which teaches that the principles of the theocracy in Israel are to be applied by the church thereby requiring a union of church and state; (2) some distinct differences between the church and the state which render them mutually exclusive EN28; (3) Christ’s statement concerning Caesar and God; (3) the false interpretation of Romans 13 and I Peter 2.13 which prevails in America and in churches today; (4) and the church’s relationship with Christ. Covenant Theology will be briefly and directly addressed in this Section, and much of what is written by the author in the sections on the biblical doctrine of government, the biblical doctrine of the church, this section on the biblical doctrine of separation of church and state, and the section on the history of religious freedom in America address many of the major shortcomings of Covenant Theology.
God, the Supreme Ruler of the supreme government, ordained both the church and the state. God desires that civil government choose to be under Him, and to operate according to His principles. God also desires that churches also choose to operate under Him, according to His principles. Our Lord explained through the Apostle Paul that God is over both the church and the state:
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, For above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Ep. 1.19-22).
At the same time, God desires separation of church and state—that is, He desires that neither the church nor the Gentile state work with or be under the other. Understanding the proper biblical relationship of church and state is of utmost importance because Christ who is likened to the Husband of the church is jealous of His wife the church, as should the Christian likewise be jealous over the church. In today’s America, a church who does not understand this proper relationship will be easily influenced to work hand in hand with the state or to put herself under the state, especially, as will be shown in the section on “God Betrayed: Union of Church and State,” through incorporation and civil government tax exemption provisions.
God ordained civil government and the church at different times, for different purposes, and for peoples with different natures. God ordained the state, the civil government, to deal with earthly matters, and the church to deal with spiritual matters. When either a church or a civil government acts outside its God given authority, trouble lies ahead.
It is the responsibility of every church, not the state—regardless of all persecutions by the state, by the church-state alliance, and/or by the world in general—to be a light and stand for and proclaim truth. This is so because a church is the only institution made up of people privy to God’s spiritual insights, and is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Ti. 3.15).
Many earthly relationships and behaviors involve the application of spiritual insights. For example, God teaches, in His Word, the responsibilities of husbands to wives, wives to husbands, parents to children, children to parents, and so forth. Although these are spiritual teachings, they are to be applied in earthly relationships to which there is a spiritual parameter. In other words, God is involved in all relationships and has outlined the ultimate consequences for behaviors, and therefore, everything is spiritual even though it may have an earthly dimension. The trouble comes when man tries to exclude God and His principles, an impossible task.
Every sphere of ordained government has its own God-given jurisdiction. God desires the state to stay out of family affairs unless criminal acts are involved. He wants civil government to stay out of church affairs, and the church, as an institution to stay out of state affairs. Although only mature born again believers who have rightly divided the Word of truth can apply His principles in the realm of government, rarely are such individuals involved in civil government. Generally speaking, those who run civil government cannot know spiritual and ultimate truth since most leaders in civil government are unregenerate (or, in rare instances, Christians who usually are still spiritual babies). A church has no God-given jurisdiction over a family, although church preaching and teaching should teach the biblical rules for parent-child and husband-wife relationships.
EN1. J. M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, (Distributed by Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, 163 N. Ashland Avenue, Lexington KY 40502, 606-266-4341), p. 11.
EN2. See, e.g., Leo Pfeffer, Church, State, and Freedom (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1953), pp. 10-12
EN3. Carroll, p. 16.
EN4. Ibid., p. 17.
EN5. Pfeffer, p. 14 citing Bates, M. Searle, Religious Liberty: An Inquiry, New Your and London, International Missionary Council, 1945, p. 139; Rufinni, Francesco, Religious Liberty, New York, The Macmillan Co., 1949, p. 36; and Carlyle, Alexander J., The Christian Church and Liberty, London, J. Clarke, 1924, p. 96; See also, Leonard Verduin, The Anatomy of a Hybrid (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Derdmans Publishing Co., 1976), pp. 105-111 and other excerpts.
EN6. Pfeffer, p. 18; Verduin, Anatomy of a Hybrid.
EN7. Carroll, p. 14.
EN8. Ibid., p. 28.
EN9. Ibid., p. 33.
EN10. Works of Martin Luther, Volume 4 (Philadelphia: A. H. Holman Co., 1931), p. 265 cited in Philip Hamburger, Separation of Church and State (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 22.
EN11. Pfeffer, p. 21, citing Acton, “The Protestant Theory of Persecution,” in Essays on Freedom and Power, p. 92, and Wace, Henry, and Bucheim, C. A., Luther’s Primary Works, Lutheran Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1885, pp. 194-195, quoted in Noss, John B., Man’s Religions, New York, The Macmillan Co., 1949, p. 92.
EN12. William H. Marnell, The First Amendment: Religious Freedom in America from Colonial Days to the School Prayer Controversy (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964), pp. 13-14.
EN13. Acton, pp. 102-103, quoted in Pfeffer, p. 21; see also, Verduin, Anatomy of a Hybrid, pp. 158-160, 163-168, 186-198; Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Erdsmans Pub. Co., 1964) and Thomas Armitage, The History of the Baptists, Volumes 1 and 2 (Springfield, Mo.: Baptist Bible College, 1977 Reprint).
EN14. Pfeffer, pp. 23-24.
EN15. See Ibid., pp. 24-25 for a concise history of Erastianism in England.
EN16. Marnell, pp. 18-20.
EN17. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1:847 (IV.xix.15) 2: 1486 (IV.xx.1), trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960) cited in Hamburger, pp. 22-23.
EN18. Ibid., 2: 1488 (IV.xx.1).
EN19. Pfeffer, p. 22, citing Institutes of the Christian Religion¸ quoted in Stokes, Anson Phelps, Church and State in the United States, New York, Harper & Brothers, 1950, I. p. 110.
EN20. Pfeffer, p. 22.
EN21. Philip Hamburger, Separation of Church and State (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 23, citing Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2: 1211 (IV.xi.1; ibid., 2: 1487-1488 (IV.xx.2-3).
EN22. Pfeffer, pp. 23-24.
EN23. Carroll, p. 34.
EN24. Ibid., pp. 37-38.
EN25. Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), pp. 151, 162-164 referring to Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, California: Nataraj Publishing, 1995).
EN26. Ibid., p. 163.
EN27. (Link to preview of God Betrayed): God Betrayed may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by going to the “Books” page on the “Church and State Law” website or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.
EN28. Jesus said in Mt. 16.18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Greek word for church in this verse, “ecclesia (ek = ‘out of,’ kaleo = ‘to call’), an assembly of called out ones. The word is used of any assembly; the word itself implies no more, as, e.g., the town-meeting at Ephesus (Ac. 19:39) and Israel, called out of Egypt and assembled in the wilderness (Ac. 7:38). Israel was a true ‘church,’ but not in any sense the N.T. church—the only point of similarity being that both were ‘called out’ and by the same God. All else is contrast. See Ac. 7:38, note; He. 12:23 note.” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Matthew 16.18, p. 1021.
EN29. Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.
These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.
That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.
This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.
On the other hand, the author is vexed by what he reads in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.
Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.
As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.
EN30. God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.